November 8, 2012
Chronic Wasting Disease Found in Pennsylvania
Hunters reminded that whole deer may not be imported into Connecticut from CWD-positive jurisdictions
With the recent confirmation of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in a Pennsylvania deer, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is reminding hunters of the ban on importing intact deer carcasses from CWD-positive jurisdictions, such as Pennsylvania and New York, into Connecticut.
To prevent the possibility of this disease entering Connecticut, regulations were adopted in 2005 making it illegal for anyone to import, process, or possess whole carcasses or parts thereof from deer, elk, or moose (wild or captive) from states and Canadian provinces where CWD has been found. The only exceptions to the regulations are meat that is deboned, cleaned skull caps, hides without the head, or finished taxidermy mounts.
To date, CWD has been found in wild or captive deer or elk in 22 states (Colorado; Iowa; Illinois; Kansas; Maryland; Michigan; Minnesota; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; New Mexico; New York; North Dakota; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; South Dakota; Texas; Utah; Virginia; West Virginia; Wisconsin; and Wyoming) and two Canadian provinces (Alberta and Saskatchewan).
CWD is a contagious neurological disease fatal to deer, moose, elk, and other members of the cervid (deer) family. Since Connecticut began testing in 2003, nearly 5,000 deer have tested negative for CWD. Currently, Connecticut is only testing deer or moose displaying symptoms of disease. In advanced stages, infected animals begin to display abnormal behavior, such as staggering or standing with very poor posture, and carrying the head and ears in a lowered position. In later stages of the disease, infected animals become emaciated.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and The World Health Organization, there is no evidence that CWD can be transmitted to humans. However, as a precaution, public health officials recommend that humans avoid consuming meat from deer suspected of being infected with CWD.